Fennel and rec onion roasted in the oven and glazed with balsamic vinegar. Served on a bed of ratatouille and finished with a parsley and hazelnut crumble.
Preheat the oven to 200'C.
Zest the lemon. Pick the leaves from the parsley.
Puree the garlic and finely chop the parsley.
Crush the hazelnuts in a pestle and mortar and mix in a bowl along with the breadcrumbs, garlic, chopped parsley, salt and black pepper. Place on a baking tray and cook for 12 minutes until golden and crunchy.
Cut the fennel in half lengthways. Remove the tough core and then cut each half into 3 pieces lengthways.
Peel the red onions and then cut in half through the circumference.
Heat a frying pan until hot. Add a splash of olive oil and cook the fennel and the onion halves until golden brown. Reduce the heat and add the demerara sugar and the balsamic vinegar to the pan. Add a splash of water, season with salt and pepper and cover the pan with tin foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the fennel and onions are tender. Remove from the oven and reduce the juices in the pan to a sticky glaze. Coat the fennel and onions with this glaze.
Dice the peppers into 1 centimetre cubes. Cut the courgettes in quarters lengthways then cut them so they are approximately twice the size of the peppers. Cut the aubergine to the same size as the courgette. Coat the aubergine and courgette in half of the olive oil. Finely dice the onion and garlic.
Pick the basil leaves and cut carefully to avoid bruising them.
Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan for 1 minute and crush in a pestle and mortar.
Sweat the onion and garlic in half of the olive oil over a medium heat for around 5 minutes. Add the peppers to the pan and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Bring a separate pan up to a high temperature and add the courgette and aubergine, cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, then mix in with the onion and peppers. Add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and fennel seeds and bring to the boil. When boiling cover with a lid and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
When ready to serve finish with the fresh basil and check the seasoning.
Spoon a generous amount of ratatouille into a bowl and top with the roasted vegetables. Drizzle around any remaining sauce from the ratatouille and finish with a generous sprinkling of the crumble.
«Ratatouille is delicious served at room temperature with freshly baked focaccia.»